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Ron Silk claimed victory at the 51st annual Spring Sizzler. (Stafford Speedway photo)

Silk Files First Entry For 52nd NAPA Spring Sizzler

STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. — Defending NAPA Spring Sizzler champion Ronnie Silk and the No. 16 Haydt-Yannone Racing team have filed the first Open Modified entry for the 52nd running of the NAPA Spring Sizzler.

The event is set for April 27-28 at Stafford Motor Speedway. 

Silk is joined on the Sizzler entry list thus far by David Arute, George Bessette, Jr., Eric Goodale and Woody Pitkat with over 40 entries expected to be submitted.

“I think it’s a really cool thing and it feels great to be the defending winner of the race,” said Silk. “You look at the list of Spring Sizzler winners, it’s a who’s who of modified racing so it feels great to be one of those guys now and I’m looking forward to the race this season.”

Silk and the No. 16 team will be eager for a repeat Sizzler performance of one year ago in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” in what turned out to be a weekend that most drivers only dream about. Silk and the No. 16 team were among the fastest cars in practice on Saturday before winning his heat race and his NAPA Duel Race to put him on the front row for the start of the NAPA Spring Sizzler on Sunday. 

Silk took full advantage of his starting position and led 88 of the race’s 100 laps en route to victory for a payday of over $35,000.

“I think we’ve run really well at Stafford for a while now and last year was just one of those special times where every time we went on the track, whether it was for practice, qualifying, or the race, we were fast. We won our heat race and our duel race and then went on to win the race, so it’s going to be very hard to duplicate that. I’ve raced the Sizzler a lot of times and only won it once,” Silk said.

“They’re certainly not easy races to win and we’re going to try our best to prepare things the same way and be as good as we were last year. There’s a lot of good cars and teams out there. Matt Hirschman and us have kind of gone back and forth over the last two years with the Sizzler and Fall Final, but it’s not just us two cars out there,” Silk continued.

“Woody Pitkat is strong and he’s always strong at Stafford, Ronnie Williams is good, and I’m not trying to leave anyone out but there’s 10 to 15 cars that can be a threat. We’d be happy to just go back to Stafford this year and be in contention towards the end of the race so we can try to win it again.”

As Silk himself stated, Stafford has been a very good track for the No. 16 team the past several years. 

In his last five races at the Connecticut half-mile dating back to the start of the 2022 season, Silk has posted two wins among four top-three finishes and a ninth-place finish. 

Silk’s Stafford performances certainly make him and the No. 16 team one of the pre-race favorites.

“I would say we have as good a shot at winning the race as anyone else,” said Silk. “There’s a few other cars that have the same chances as we do to win, but I would think we’re going to be one of the favorites. I think we’d be foolish to come back to Stafford with anything different that what we did last year.

“The car was really good and we came to the Fall Final with pretty much the same setup as the Sizzler but with the weather and track conditions being a little different, the car was much better at the Sizzler. It will be really tough to duplicate what we did last season, but we’re going to try our best to have another Cinderella weekend. 

“There’s a lot of good cars and good competition so if we can be in contention at the end of the race, that’s a successful weekend at a race like that if you can’t get a win.”